Mt. Wow

This trio is composed of Harry Liedstrand on fiddle, guitar, and vocals, his wife Cindy on guitar, and Terry Barrett on mandolin and fiddle. This is their loving look back on part of the wealth of tunes and songs they learned from their mentors decades ago.

About 100 years ago, the Crockett family, originally from Kentucky, moved to Fowler, Cal. They recorded some influential tunes in the original heyday of old-time music, and their influence is felt here especially on the fine “Crockett’s Reel,” which sounds like a variant of the old gem “Salt River” in its modal wanderings. The late Kenny Hall, sometimes called the Doc Watson of the West Coast, was a blind fiddle and mandolin player whose infectious and inclusive joy for the music and the folks that play it cast a long shadow over the old-time music scene in California and beyond. He is represented here by a number of tunes and the joyful spirit that infuses every note of this music. Fiddlers such as Ron Hughey, who came to California with his family in 1926 is represented here with an old modal fiddle tune, “Yellow Gals,” from his home state of Missouri. Hughey’s fiddling was more of an old-time sort, so he stuck out from the slick contest fiddlers who predominated the scene in the valley.

As to the performances here, Harry Liedstrand is a fine fiddler, adept at bringing the tune to the fore with warm tone and an agile bow. Cindy has backed him for years and her tasteful, steady guitar shadows his every move. Icing on the cake is Barrett’s mandolin. It is spot on, clean in a rich tuneful tone. At times, he catches the old standby lick that was a hallmark of Kenny Hall’s two-finger mandolin style. The tunes span a wide spectrum of material that was popular with the old-time crowd in the San Joaquin valley nearly a half century ago due to the influence of Hall. The singing is straightforward and honest, and songs such as “Every Bush And Tree” still pull at the heartstrings so many years later. (


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